Regarding “Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?”, one recent study has shown that those who exercise for 1/2 hour a day averagely lost 8 pounds after 3 weeks while those who exercised up to 1 hour only lost only 6 pounds.
Sound amazing, huh?
Why Is Working Out 30 Minutes A Day Enough To Lose Weight?
That study was posted in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, tracking sixty overweight but healthy men during thirty weeks.
They were divided evenly into two groups:
- Group 1 - worked out with high-intensity exercises for 30 minutes/day
- Group 2 - worked out with moderate-intensity exercises for one hour/day.
Aside from the difference in the total weight loss after 13 weeks between the two groups as stated above, Dr. Astrid Jespersen, one of the study's authors, shared another interesting piece of information - the changes in their feeling.
In detail, those of Group 1 had higher energy burn levels, along with greater motivation to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle every day. They climbed stairs, walked the dog, or cycled to work.
Conversely, men of Group 2 felt exhausted, uninterested, sluggish, and less willing to change their lifestyle after exercising.
From that, it can be seen that a reasonable amount of exercise will hugely affect the daily performance of the target group.
Intensity Is Key
From the study above, you can see that intensity plays a huge role in the results of exercising and also helps reduce the time needed to exercise by up to 50%.
HIIT takes a turn between high-intensity anaerobic exercise with short rest periods. It’s different from cardio and gives significantly better results in fat-burning.
In comparison, HIIT is anaerobic, fueled mainly by stored carbohydrates while cardio is aerobic, fueled mainly by stored fat and relying exclusively on oxygen.
HIIT requires you to sweat like a pig while exercising and can be difficult to talk comfortably with a partner while doing cardio, you can both practice and chat with your partner.
The Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) provided by HIIT is more than that by cardio, meaning that HIIT burns more calories.
Although it takes energy, HIIT-style training requires no complicated regimens or conditions. All you need is some space, whether in the living room, basement, or garage, a few simple tools, and most importantly, strong determination.
HIIT-style workouts are safe for people of all ages but might be tough for beginners.
Experts recommend that if you are over 40 years old and have not been active for a long time, you should consult your doctor before exercising.
Besides, exercising at high intensity increases the risks of increasing stress hormones (cortisol).
Weight training is another most effective exercising method in losing body fat while building strength and lean muscle mass.
There are two extremely important elements in weight training:
- Amount of weight
- Rest period
Compared to HIIT, its intensity is typically much lower, with longer rest periods, and burns fewer calories.
But that doesn’t mean weight training is not as effective as HIIT. There are at least two benefits that ONLY weight training provides to you:
- It makes your body keep burning calories at rest (*)
- Help you control your appetite better, therefore, you’ll eat less
- Decrease the rate of fat storage due to changes in hormones
(*) Biologically, building and retaining muscles require lots of energy, so even after exercise, your body still continues to burn calories.
Bonus: A comparison table between HIIT and weight training
Focus: fat-loss -> ideal for women
Equipment: Space & your bodyweight -> more convenient
Focus: strength and muscle gain -> ideal for men who want serious muscle size
Equipment: dumbbells, barbell, and a bench
-increase longevity, improve mood, and support brain health
-increase your performance
-burn fat the most effectively
-help you build muscle mass
Does Cardio Help With Weight Loss?
We don’t recommend you to do cardio for weight loss because this training method is more about endurance, meaning that it doesn't have much impact on muscles.
Cardio only burns calories during exercise, which is just a negligible amount. After that, your body is completely rested. Not to say that the hormones released during long-term cardio are also not conducive to fat loss because your body needs to store energy for long-term activities.
The fact that losing weight is a process of decreasing body fat; exercising accounts for 20% while good eating and living habits account for 80% of the weight loss effect. It’s because the energy spent on metabolism is much larger than that on exercise.
For the best results in losing weight, you should combine HIIT and weight training exercises by:
- Use HIIT as your cardio day workout and following weight training program
- Take turns training type from day to day.
In a wrap, for the question “Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?”, our answer is - yes, as long as you take intense exercises that focus on building muscles.
That’s all for this article. Thanks for reading!